Sea Stars: The keystone species that have a large impact on animal communities

Sea Stars: The keystone species that have a large impact on animal communities

Sea Stars: The keystone species that have a large impact on animal communities: Life in this intertidal zone is usually severely challenged by the coming and going ufabet of the tides, especially during winter storms, but one place that relies on those tides is the rock pool.

Sea Stars: The keystone species that have a large impact on animal communities

Sea Stars: The keystone species that have a large impact on animal communities

Every day it is flushed with fresh seawater, and when the tide goes out and the churning ceases, a few moments of calm descend on the pool. Its inhabitants begin to emerge from their hiding places.

Marinand hermit crabs are often first out, followed by nudibranchs and small fish, and they all share a weakness. They may be located in the intertidal zone, but they have not yet thrown off the yoke of having to be fully immersed in seawater for all of their life.

The sea stars are trendsetters, and they can change the face of this ufabet humble pool. Mussel beds outside of rock pools survived well because the sea stars could only attack them for half the day; that is, at high tide.

The mussels in rock pools could be consumed at all states of the tide, so there are fewer of them, leaving more space for other ufabet marine life. It led Paine to consider sea stars as ‘keystone species’, a term he introduced to highlight animals that have a large impact on animal communities even though their numbers may be relatively small.

They affect the lives of many other animals and therefore determine the types and numbers of other species present in the ecosystem.

The sea star travels about its domain on its hundreds of tube feet and those on the tips of its arms are sensitive to odours in the water and the promise of food. The keyhole limpet is a target, but this shellfish has secret defences tucked underneath its shell.